Saving money by making stuff yourself is really trendy right now.  And I don’t hate it.  A lot of my life I have taken pride in myself when I didn’t do something just because it was trendy.  (Rainbow flip flops anyone? Or leggings.  Yikes.)  But now that DIY is trendy, I’m making myself right at home in the bandwagon.  I’ll just surround myself with cupcakes, bunting, yarn wreaths, and mason jars and call it a day.

I’ve been wanting to try out handmade laundry detergent for awhile.  (Handmade sounds so much better than homemade, right?)  But I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of recipes floating around Pinterest.  Then a lovely lady from my church who owns a shop in our town gave me some to try.  It smelled like heaven and worked great, so I resolved to finally make some myself.

After much searching, I settled on this recipe from How Does She.  It is good for regular machines and HE machines.  It includes Borax, baking soda, washing soda, Zote/Fels Naptha, and Oxiclean.  It also explains how to add those fabric softener crystals, but we chose not to do that.  And by we, I mean my mom and I.  It was a family effort.

My dad kind of got pulled into helping because he was just so talented at grating all that soap.  Seriously.  He could do two bars in the time I could do half of one.  It must be all the sanding he’s done over the years.  Ha!  So my mom just reminded him of how much she would be saving and that she would be washing his clothes, and he grated away.  Timothy took this nice iPhone pic of us and then resumed telling us about some new surgery he saw on YouTube.  Sadly, a true story.

The whole process was really easy.  We used that big tub to mix it all in and it worked like a charm.  My mom had a ton of jars from canning, and we just divided the mixture into those.  This particular recipe filled nine and a half of those giant mason jars.

I’ve already started using the detergent and I’m loving it.  It smells great, our clothes feel clean, and it looks so cute!  I’m loving how much money we’ll save also.  Since marrying a smelly man, I’ve had a LOT more laundry than I thought.  I mean seriously.  I’m kind of afraid of the amount of laundry I’ll have when we have children.

So this is one DIY that I’m so glad we did.  Have any of you made your own detergent?  Any different recipes that you use?  I’d love to hear!



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10 Responses to Trendy Suds

  1. Gillian says:

    This looks great! My best friend recently started making her own laundry soap and I was tempted to try, but hers is liquid so it involves cooking, and large pots which I don’t possess. Maybe I’ll try this one! Good to know it works for HE machines as well – that’s what my landlady has :-)

    • Gillian says:

      Also… is that a carton of ice cream sitting on the counter behind your plastic bin? Because it totally looks like one, and I giggled :D

      • Whitney says:

        Haha! It’s actually the generic version of OxiClean. But ice cream would have made the process a lot more fun. :)

        • Gillian says:

          Oh, funny! I had no idea that laundry supplies came packaged like that. I’d probably accidentally eat some in an absent-minded moment!

  2. Carrie Willis says:

    Use a food processor next time instead of a grater……it saves tons of time. We found out about 1/2 way through the process.

  3. Gloria Barnes says:

    Hi Whitney,
    I started reading your posts and kept thinking this little lady looks so familiar. Well I figured out why when I saw the picture with your Mom and Dad. Well I have known your Dad since he was a little boy, and when he was 13 my oldest daughter (probably 5 or 6 years old at that time) had the biggest ‘crush’ on I knew your grandparents and there are a lot of happy memories with the family. I love them all so much. I enjoy your posts, especially the one about the glass in the toilet. I raised 4 children, each 2 years apart. When we went out to eat needless to say there was usually a disastrous spill of some sort. We went to Western Sizzling one night and the Daddy packed the tray of drinks to the table while I paid for the food. Well when I got to the table there was drink everywhere except in the glasses, and all 4 kids were standing there pointing at their dad saying, “Daddy did it”. I and everyone in the restaurant (except the guilty party) was getting a good laugh!!!

  4. Thumbs Up says:

    […] fresh new batch of laundry soap.  I posted about this quite a while ago, and in case you were wondering, I’m still its number one fan.  Here […]

  5. Brooke Beecham says:

    I use, 2 Borax, 2 Washing Soda, 1 Purex scent booster crystals, and 3 to 4 Fels Naptha soap bars, 1 small oxy clean.
    $20.00 for like 10-12 Months of laundry detergent. That is a family of 4 which includes a 6 year old boy and a forever sticky 2 year old girl.

    If you microwave the soap bars for about 60-90 seconds so it is all puffy. It makes it easier to hand grate, it will also grate very finely in a food processor if it is microwaved some first so you don’t have tiny soap stuck to clothes.

    I have been using this for about 2 years love it!

    • Whitney says:

      Awesome! I’m going to have to try the microwave tip. I use a food processor for the soap and haven’t had a problem with it not dissolving, but I would like it to be a little more fine. :)